Game 50: Manchester Monarchs 1 @ Hartford Wolf Pack 3
Wednesday February 06th 2008, 10:10 pm

The Wolf Pack rebounded from Saturday’s shootout loss to Bridgeport with a 3-1 win over the Manchester Monarchs in a tight, playoff-like game in which neither team gave up many scoring chances. The Monarchs got on the board first, just past the 16 minute mark of the first. Al Montoya, getting his first start in 6 games, took a holding penalty to give the Monarch’s league leading power play its first chance of the game, which they converted on when Matt Ryan deflected a shot from the point that squeezed its way between Montoya’s legs. It looked like the Monarchs would go into the locker room with the lead at the end of the period, until Jordon Owens forced a turnover at the Monarch blueline, raced in along the right wing boards, and fed a pass through to Mike Ouellette, who was breaking in on net alone with 24 seconds to go in the period.

Owens picked up a goal of his own, his first since opening night (he spent a good chunk of the season in Charlotte, this was his 17th AHL game) at the thirteen minute mark of the second when Brodie Dupont fired a slap shot from the left point that was blocked by someone in front and deflected right on to the stick of Owens, who put it in the open side of the net. The goal gave Owens his first ever multi-point game in the AHL and would stand up as the game winner.

Both teams really clamped down in the 3rd, limiting the other’s chances. The Pack gave the Monarchs only 4 shots on goal, while only getting 6 of their own. Two of the Monarch’s shots came in the final minute and a half when with goalie Erik Ersberg on the bench for the extra skater. P.A. Parenteau iced the win with an empty netter at 19:25 of the third after the Pack were able to get the puck in deep in the Monarch’s zone and keep pressure on the Monarchs as they tried to break out. Byers was ultimately able to force a turnover which ended up on Parenteau’s stick at the top of the right circle. He put it in the open net to ice the win for the Pack.

Neither goalie had to make too many difficult saves in the game, though Montoya did come up big in the first when a pass from the goal line found a wide open Monarch in the slot, and again in the closing minute of play when the Monarchs pulled the goalie and got a couple good chances off a scramble in front. He had a close call in the second when the puck took a funny bounce as he tried to fetch it behind his net on a dump in, but Michael Sauer was able to keep a charging Monarch player from getting a stick on it. Over all, however, it was a pretty good statement performance by Montoya and earned him the 2nd star of the game.

Ivan Baranka returned after missing 6 games, and looked a little rusty, as you could probably expect. The Pack dressed 7 defenseman, with Pock starting the game taking shifts at foward at regular strength on on the point on the power play, but by the second half the Pack were rotating all 7 on defense. With Greg Moore in NY, Bruce Graham got the call up from Charlotte and slipped directly into Moore’s spot on a line between Parenteau and Bourret. He was, once again, unimpressive, and I suspect the lines may be shaken up in time for Friday night’s game. Artem Anisimov looked like he was hurt in the 3rd after he took a hard hit behind the Monarch net and skated directly to the bench. He missed a few shifts, but returned later in the game. I think he’s dealing with a nagging shoulder problem, because when we were in Hartford the weekend before last he took a similar hit and went directly to the bench, where the trainer worked on his shoulder. He missed a few shifts before returning later in that game as well.

Pack Scoring

1. Ouellette (4) (Owens) 19:36
2. Owens (2) (Dupont, Liffiton) 12:59
3. Parenteau (19) 19:25 (EN)

Parenteau – Graham – Bourret
Byers – Anisimov – Korpikoski
Dupont – Pyatt – Ouellette
Owens – Pock

Taylor – Liffiton
Potter – Hutchinson
Baranka – Sauer

Montoya / Wiikman

Three Stars
1. Owens
2. Montoya
3. Ryan

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Filed under: Hartford Wolf Pack

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